England v South Africa: Jacques Nienaber claims Springboks not given due respect

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Rassie ErasmusErasmus posted a string of tweets reviewing incidents from the Springboks losses to Ireland and France earlier this month
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 26 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
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South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber has accused the rugby world of lacking respect for his team in the wake of director of rugby Rassie Erasmus' ban for social media posts about referees.

"If all the facts are out there, I think people would form a different opinion," said Nienaber of Erasmus' two-week suspension by World Rugby.

"It is quite sad if you think about it."

Erasmus' suspension includes Saturday's match against England.

Nienaber, who stepped into the head coach role in 2019, said he believed that the misconceptions around his world champion team extended to their playing style.

"We can't control the narrative that gets put out there that we are boring and we don't attack that we just kick and tackle," he said.

"All the energy you put in, you are not going to change that narrative, that is the narrative people want to drive.

"If we will get respect ever, I don't know, but as long as we are comfortable with what we are putting out here and are trying to achieve, and we are open and honest with each other as a group."

South Africa's director of rugby Erasmus had only been allowed to return to the Springboks matchday set-up in October after a year's ban for his criticisms of the match officials during his team's series victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

World Rugby has said that his social media commentary on refereeing decisions could have a corrosive effect on the grassroots game, with the governing body's chief executive Alan Gilpin emphasising that dialogue between officials and coaches must remain private.

Nienaber said he could not reveal the information he felt was not being made public because of rules over confidentiality, but that it would "probably" emerge eventually.

"We can't discuss unfortunately, it is what it is, but we know the facts and we share with those the players and within the group," he added.

The Springboks have made six changes to the side that beat Italy 61-23 last weekend, with a host of players, such as wing Cheslin Kolbe and number eight Jasper Wiese, obliged to return to their clubs as the match takes place outside the Test window.

Second row Eben Etzebeth comes back into the starting line-up with promising number eight Evan Roos winning his third cap.

South Africa: Le Roux; Arendse, Kriel, De Allende, Mapimpi; Willemse, De Klerk; Nche, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Orie, Kolisi (c), Mostert, Roos.

Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Du Toit, Van Staden, Smith, Hendrikse, Libbok, Moodie

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